Drowning prevention charity’s pledge plea a great success after Westminster visit

18 June 2014

Drowning prevention charity’s pledge plea a great success after Westminster visit

41 MPs sign up to Royal Life Saving Society UK’s pledge to help to reduce drownings.

The UK’s drowning prevention charity received a fantastic response during a trip to Westminster this week (Tuesday) when 41 MPs signed up to support its pledge.

Representatives from The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) made the trip to Parliament ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week which, this year, runs from June 21 to 29.

CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions were held throughout the afternoon and MPs from across the UK were invited to find out more about the charity and it’s work, as well as sign up and ‘pledge to support the delivery of water safety education to all under 18- year olds-in the UK’.

A question was also raised in the House on drowning prevention and water safety during an adjournment debate that evening tabled by Sharon Hodgson, MP.

RLSS UK President, Peter Moyes, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session and can’t thank them enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round and especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.

“Tragically, more than 30 people drowned in just seven weeks during last summer’s heatwave. Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year – one every 20 hours – and thousands more have near drowning experiences.

“These deaths could have been avoided and we are thrilled to now have the help of the 41 MPs to add to the work of RLSS UK staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to reduce drownings and save lives.”

MP for the Stratford–on-Avon area, where RLSS UK’s headquarters is based, Nadhim Zahawi has been working with the charity and supported it in organising the event.

He said: “I am very proud to have hosted RLSS UK in Parliament today; it’s fantastic that so many MPs have pledged their support.

“RLSS UK does brilliant work to educate people in lifesaving skills and water safety across the country and I am sure that my colleagues will be promoting this vital work throughout their constituencies during Drowning Prevention Week and beyond.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, where two girls – 15-year-old Tonibeth Purvis and 14-year-old Chloe Fowler – tragically drowned in the River Wear last summer, worked with the RLSS UK to secure the debate in the House of Commons to press Ministers on this issue.

She added: “After the tragic death of Tonibeth and Chloe last summer I was keen to help the RLSS UK put their case to the Government. With the warm weather upon us and the school holidays approaching, I was pleased to be able to press ministers on how we can prevent more tragic accidents from occurring this year, and into the future.

“I am hoping that this message will have been heard loud and clear in Whitehall, and that Ministers will give serious consideration to the very sensible calls made in the RLSS UK Manifesto.”

Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in York on April 3rd this year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects over the past few months. She also attended the event and added: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her and to prevent further tragedies.

“It was great to talk to MPs today and hopefully raise the importance of the charity’s work and the importance of water safety education.”

The RLSS UK works tirelessly to promote drowning prevention messages and deliver water safety education nationally, as well as offering a range of awards and programmes that teach lifesaving skills to all ages. The support it has received for the pledge will how go towards its aim of getting water safety education on the National Curriculum and in all schools.

 

For all media enquires please contact Porcha Treanor – Communications Manager:
Email: porchatreanor@rlss.org.uk
Tel: 01789 774 495
Mobile: 07884 498 325